Another voice for the RSS

[Conor Friedersdorf]

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a writer I've recently discovered and very much enjoy. His worthwhile blog is here. And this week he is guest posting for Matt Yglesias.

Here's a sample:

I grew up in de facto segregation. I didn't have a white classmate until I was in high school. I didn't have any deep relationships with anyone who wasn't black until I was in my early 20s. I also had some very retrograde views about gays (I'm probably most ashamed of that). When I started working in Washington, I had some truly beautiful colleagues, many of whom I'm friends with today. But when I started the gig, I wouldn't hang out with them after work; I thought something might happen if I got drunk around them. That didn't change until my job hired another brother and he informed me of how ignorant I was. A short time later, I moved to New York, and was shocked to live in a place where the black/white dichotomy didn't really exist. I mean it's here, but not in the same way.

My point is this--it's quite likely that had I not been shaken out of my ignorance, had I not let go of my prejudice, you wouldn't be reading this right now. It was not simply ethical for me to become a more open person--it was to my advantage. I know that the math isn't the same for white people, but the point, I think, still stands. Let me end with a nod to America's greatest past time. The Boston Red Sox were the last team in pro baseball to integrate. And for their belief in the grand purity of the Great White Race, they sacrificed a shot at Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and probably a World Series or two. White racism rewarded them with decades of heartbreak. Not saying racism was the only factor. But it didn't help.

Blog posts are more aesthetically pleasing when they don't end on an excerpt.